An hour's worth of concerted works for soloist and orchestra. They aren't so much strict concertos as fantasias filled with catchy opera tunes, bravura passagework, and beautifully crafted orchestral accompaniments...Give this disc to a friend who always complains that classical music isn't any fun. Strongly recommended.
Most classical music lovers know Amilcare Ponchielli as the composer of La Gioconda but have no idea that he wrote some really delightful, entertaining, and totally unpretentious instrumental works. To follow up its Ponchielli chamber music release, MDG now offers an hour's worth of concerted works for soloist and orchestra. They aren't so much strict concertos as fantasias filled with catchy operaRead more tunes, bravura passagework, and beautifully crafted orchestral accompaniments.
The Euphonium Concerto, for example, resembles an extended coloratura aria, except that instead of Joan Sutherland tossing off murderously difficult filigree and decorative passages with stupefying agility we have Roland Fröscher's dazzlingly suave and seamless euphonium mastery. What intonation, speed, and breath control! I like Giuliano Sommerhalder's thin, cornet-like trumpet sonority, and his relaxed yet surgically precise way with rapid arpeggios (slurred or detached, it doesn't matter) and repeated notes. Indeed, he makes light of the La traviata fantasy's eloquent fireworks to the point where you don't miss a real singer, not to mention the text. The Gran Capriccio's plaintive repeated phrases and forceful wind and brass work in orchestral tuttis occasionally evoke Carl Maria von Weber's idiom, but the melodic cadences and sudden silences are pure, unadulterated late 19th-century Italian opera.
One could imagine a larger, more robust orchestra with fuller-bodied strings and a wider range of dynamics all around, but the performances are impeccably paced and full of idiomatic spirit. Give this disc to a friend who always complains that classical music isn't any fun. Strongly recommended.
Concerto for Trumpet in F major, Op. 123by Amilcare Ponchielli Performer:
Giuliano Sommerhalder (Trumpet)
Mecklenburg Staatskapelle Schwerin
Period: Romantic Written: 1866
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Trumpet and Oboe ConcertosMarch 31, 2012By George Buck (Fresno, CA)See All My Reviews"Ponchielli's La Gioconda is a well known piece of music, but this release shows he has composed a lot more music that should be heard by music lovers. These works are very melodic and entertaining and these arrangements are delightful. The Artists are a talented group and their playing is delightful and well recorded. This release follows a previous CD from DG of Chamber musio, which is just as satisfying. In my opinion, one should have both releases which will deliver many hours of enjoyable listening."Report Abuse